NWL and BUSE Earnings Updates

Newell (NWL) is trading at its highest price since early May after reporting second-quarter earnings today. EPS of $0.24, vs. $0.56 last year, was $0.11 percent better than forecasts, while revenues declined 13% versus expectations for a 15% decline.

The company lowered EPS guidance for the year to $0.80 to $0.90 from $0.90 to $1.05. However, this was largely anticipated by the market, and investors are primarily focused on the fact that the company is profitable again, with a big improvement in cash flow generation.

New CEO Chris Peterson believes his efforts to concentrate resources on leading brands in their largest markets will make a big difference for Newell. While the success of this plan is uncertain, it makes a good deal of sense. With NWL still very cheap, we should give the stock a chance to see if this strategy works. NWL is a buy under $10. My target is $16.

First Busey (BUSE) reported earnings earlier this week. Results were pretty much in line, with EPS of $0.55 vs. $0.53 a year ago. EPS, though, were down from $0.65 in the first quarter of 2023, given interest margins narrowed considerably as the company was forced to pay depositors higher interest rates.

Loan growth slowed in the quarter, with loans up just 0.3% from the first quarter. BUSE is concerned about a slowing economy and is being very cautious with extending credit at this time, which is consistent with their long-term philosophy. Non-performing assets account for only 0.13% of the company’s loan portfolio, and the company’s conservative philosophy will pay off if we have a recession.

While BUSE may rest a bit after its recent jump, I believe the worst is over for the stock in what has been a tough year for regional banks. I am raising my buy under price for BUSE to $20 and my target to $25. The 4.4% dividend yield will add to total returns.